Tag Archives: customer service

Day 121: Ed, Brian, Jena, Aprill, Sam, Tyler and others

121-2I’ve become a huge fan of Paper Source – especially my local store here in Georgetown. It’s been a lifesaver for the Year of Letters. I don’t know of any other paper retailer with the level of quality and variety as Paper Source that beats their reasonable price point. And the staff is extremely helpful.

I’ve become a pretty regular face in the store since starting my letter-writing project – enough so I guess that they kindly invited me to a workshop that they had recently to teach cardmaking and giftmaking techniques. It was great – and they even had some snacks and wine for everyone.

I probably should have incorporated some of the new techniques I learned into this letter to them, but stay tuned, you’ll see some new things in my cards in the coming days and weeks.


I used one of Paper Source's bags to make a liner for the envelope.

I used one of Paper Source’s bags to make a liner for the envelope.

Ed, Brian, Jena, Aprill, Sam, Tyler and others,

121-3Thank you very much for your kind invitation to attend Crafter’s Night Out last evening led by Aprill and Sam. I learned several new techniques – like how to apply gilded edges, use washi tape and even make my own gift bags. Your entire team is exceptional and it is always a pleasure to be in your store.

Thanks again,
Reed Sandridge

P.S. I also bought the marbling set…keep a look out on YearOfLetters.com for some marbling!

Day 54: Margaret

Good morning! I was up a little too late watching the Oscars last night, but I’m up and writing my daily letter.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, on January 6th I sent a letter to the general manager of the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, Virginia and asked him to consider extending a gift certificate I had for a stay at their hotel. Well, what do you know? This past week I got a letter from a member of his staff along with an updated gift certificate with an extension. Very cool!

Thank you Hotel Monaco!!!

Day 5152-3

Dear Margaret,

Day 5152-4I received your letter this week in the mail. Thank you so much for your thoughtful extension of my gift certificate. I am looking forward to my stay at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria.

With gratitude,
Reed Sandridge

Week 8 Notes and Letters

A great week for the Year of Letters. I received three responses in the mail – well sorta.

First, I received a letter from Caroline Fraser Zinsser. Her husband, William Zinsser, was the recipient of my 22nd letter. Now 92, the authority on writing well for the past half century, is now blind she explained to me and unable to reply, but she offered his phone number and let me know that I could call him. Wow! I haven’t called yet, I am not sure what I would tell him other than I think he’s a genius but he doesn’t need me wasting his time to tell him that.

Week 8Second, I received a letter from Margaret at the Hotel Monaco regarding my letter to General Manager Mart Hurlburt on January 6th requesting that my gift certificate for a one-night stay in their Alexandria, VA hotel be extended – I let it expire. She kindly offered to grant me the extension – thank you Margaret and thank you to Hotel Monaco!!! I’m a big fan of their hotels, but I have yet to stay in their Alexandria property so I am looking forward to that.

The last response I received wasn’t really a response I guess. You may remember that on Day 35 I wrote a letter to Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals. He was serving a short sentence in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for a reckless driving incident last year. I figured he would have some free time to read my letter – but I don’t believe he ever saw it. My letter had been opened, inspected, taped shut and returned to me.

Finally, I want to congratulate Katy from Day 22. She was the co-producer of Citizenfour – the Edward Snowden documentary that took home the Oscar tonight for Best Documentary. She’s amazing.

Get ready for another week of handwritten letters. Do you have someone you think I should write? Let me know. And how about you, when is the last time you penned a handwritten letter to someone. Try to write at least one this week – you’ll be glad you did!

Day 31: Dan Bane, Trader Joe’s

The staff at Trader Joe’s is so cheerful and friendly a trip to TJ’s is like free therapy! Well, not free if you buy some of their delicious food. Every business could learn something from how they engage their customers.

Trader Joes

Dear Mr. Bane,

I wanted to send you a letter to tell you that I think Trader Joe’s creates one of the most enjoyable employee-customer experiences of any large-scale retailer. I frequent my local TJ’s – 1101 25th Street in Northwest Washington, DC – often and everyone there is exceptionally pleasant. And while I know your stores are known for this, my local TJ’s does an outstanding job and I wanted you to know.

Crew members are delighted to help find items or make a product suggestion. I once bought the Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches because an employee told me that they saved her marriage – three times! She might need a little time off by the way. I’m not married, but if I were I would add them to my regular shopping list to keep the relationship strong!

 Keep up the good work. If you ever come to DC – stop in my neighborhood TJ’s and congratulate your team here.

Best regards,
Reed Sandridge


Day 28: Fitbit

Everyone wants to be healthy – and there are billions of dollars spent every year to help us be healthier. But very few products actually have the power to change behavior. One that did just that though for me was the Fitbit. I started walking more. I would take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, walk to places I would normally take public transportation and I’ll even confess that I have left my house at almost midnight to go for a walk just to get more steps. Call me crazy.

Unfortunately my Fitbit seemed to fall apart and it got to a point where I could no longer use it. So, I’m hoping Fitbit can help me out and get me back to being more active. Part of my recent motivation to get this fixed could possibly be fueled by the fact that I weighed myself this week and topped the scales at 188 pounds – the most I’ve ever weighed. Time to get in shape!


Dear friends at Fitbit,

Two years ago I was given the Fitbit Zip as a Christmas gift. It was great – it changed my behavior and I was more active. Unfortunately it stopped working after 13 months of use. I kept saying to myself that I would get it fixed, but a year has gone by now. I have noticed that I am less active and decided I wanted to start using it again. My father told me that he had something similar happen and you were kind enough to send him a replacement, so I am reaching out to you. There are three main defects.

  1. The USB sync device has completely fallen apart and no longer works. (see photo) InterestinglyFitbit Fitbit-2enough it seems that sometimes the Fitbit will sync if I get close to someone else who has a Fitbit syncing device.
  2. The piece that holds the battery in place has become “stripped” and no longer holds the battery firmly in place. I have this working most of the time now through a solution that I learned on MacGyver many years ago – but it’s not perfect and sometimes it stops recording my steps.
  3. Part of the protective covering on the silicon housing has worn off or fallen off leaving bare metal which has damaged my clothes. (see photo) 

I’m hoping you can help me get this back to working condition. I went to a sporting goods store where they sell Fitbits but they said I had to contact you.

Looking forward to getting more steps,
Reed Sandridge

Shout out to MacGyver!

Shout out to MacGyver!